Friday, August 3, 2007

Give me a Break!

Oh parenting. The joys and the trials. Sometimes I just need a break. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who understands this and thus I have taken up the hobby of scrapbooking and am also furthering my level of education. However, the much needed break from my family also many times brings with it a sense of guilt. Guilt that I'm not home. Guilt that I should not feel I need a break. Guilt that I should be doing more for my children and husband. Yikes! Is this guilt justified? I do love my family dearly. I do miss them and after only a few hours away I want to be with them again. But, why do I feel guilty about needing time for myself? I believe this sense of guilt has many working mothers overgiving "stuff" to their children. Because, we can't be with our children during the day, somehow if we buy our children "stuff" it will help appease the guilt and let our children know how much we love them.
"Stuff" just doesn't do it! The end result if this path is followed is over-indulged, spoiled children. I must say that maybe some of the guilt I feel is justified. However, I would also say that much of this guilt is not from God. As mothers, especially working mothers, we are pulled in a million different directions every day. We must be productive at work and once home each evening start our second position as wife and mother. It's exhausting. And no matter what the women's liberation movement might have accomplished, the equity of the work load in the home is not a 50/50 division. Thankfully I do have a husband that helps around the home. But, even with the most helpful of husbands, women still take on the majority of the household chores.
And thus, I need a break! Should I feel guilty? Maybe if I was out every night of the week and never spent any time with my husband and children. However, if the break is a once-in-a-while sanity break, then guilt needs to take a back seat!

Monday, July 30, 2007


Why does parenting have to be so hard? Sure, there are many moments of ease when your children are being model citizens and require little if any attention. But, many moments of parenting are very hard. Of course my children are still very young (five and seven), so I'm sure that there are many more difficult moments ahead. Tonight was no exception. My young daughter did not want to do what mom asked of her. After repeating myself many, many times, I was so angry inside I wanted to burst. However, I kept my cool and just calmly kept repeating myself until she did the required task at which point the punishment of instant bedtime was applied. This of course started a deluge of tears which even after being completely frustrated the moment before made me want to go back on my resolve. Not only were there tears but then there was "I'm sorry mommy" and a tiara was placed on my head. I calmly re-enforced the punishment although inside I wanted to give in immediately.
My thoughts go to my Heavenly Father. How hard being a parent to me must be! I have many times not done as He has asked repeatedly through His word and through the Holy Spirit speaking to me. Does He get angry with us? I believe so. But He calmly meads out the punishment with much love.
If we look to examples in the Bible, there are examples over and over of God's love for His children. Look at David! He wanted what he didn't have and murdered to get it. Yet God calls David "a man after mine own heart". Look at Paul! He murdered saints of God (ironically he is now called a saint by many). Yet God has used him mightily over thousands of years through his writings.
I know I am not the first parent to struggle with disobedient children. For thousands of years I would dare to say, parents have had the same struggle - across cultures and languages raising children is much the same because of our human nature.
How I wish to become more like my Heavenly Father- He is so patient. There is consequences for our actions (look further at the previous examples). However, our Heavenly Father loves us so much He sent His Son down from the heavenly realms of glory. How can my love for my children begin to mirror this great love? Paul tells us in 1 Timothy that he the worst of sinners was shown grace so that "Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life".
So this must be our goals as parents: try and imitate as well as we can in our weak human state God's unlimited patience so that our children and those around us would receive eternal life!